Dr. Paul McGurr named interim dean of Fort Lewis College School of Business Administration

Dr. Paul McGurr named interim dean of FLC School of Business Administration

Dr. Paul McGurr with one of his students at Fort Lewis College.
Dr. Paul McGurr with one of his students at Fort Lewis College.

Dr. Paul McGurr
Dr. Paul McGurr

Fort Lewis College Provost Dr. Barbara Morris has announced that Dr. Paul McGurr will serve as interim dean for the FLC School of Business Administration. Dr. McGurr takes over for Dr. Doug Lyon, who served as dean since 2011. Dr. Lyon moved to the College’s Office of Advancement, where he works in corporate and community relations.

This is a homecoming for Dr. McGurr, who worked at Fort Lewis College from 2004-2011. He taught a variety of business courses as an associate professor, as well as serving as assistant dean of the school.

After leaving FLC, he worked at Jönköping International Business School in Sweden, where he served as chair of the Department of Accounting and Law and associate dean of education. In addition, he earned the student-chosen Pedagogical Prize as best teacher of 2012. He then joined Bristol University in California, where he served as president for one year and currently teaches online.

Outside of academics, Dr. McGurr has held several senior level financial positions with private sector companies, including working as a manager in the U.S. and the Netherlands for Ernst & Whinney, a professional services company.

“I am excited to return to Fort Lewis College, the School of Business Administration and Durango”, says Dr. McGurr. “SOBA is a quality business school as shown by its 40-year continuous accreditation by AACSB. I look forward to leading the team of faculty, many of whom I have previously worked with, in the quest for continued improvement in our programs. My goal is to build on our strengths to ensure that our graduates are ready to face challenges in the ever more complicated business environment of today and the future.”

Students win when the Fort Lewis College Road Scholars Team races the Iron Horse train

Students win when the FLC Road Scholars Team races the Iron Horse train

Up to 100 alumni, staff, faculty, and friends of Fort Lewis College will combine their love of cycling with helping students, when the Fort Lewis College Road Scholars Team races the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train from Durango to Silverton in the 2015 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, on Saturday, May 23.

Registration for the Road Scholars team is open now.

The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic brings more than 2,500 riders to Durango every May to race the steam train over the San Juan Mountains to the mining town of Silverton. Since 2011, FLC has sponsored a squad of amateur riders representing the College in the race. The Team is open to any supporter the College, and registration for the 2015 IHBC is now underway on a first-come first-served basis.

A portion of the Road Scholars Team members’ IHBC registration fees — boosted by a contribution from the IHBC — goes to the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Scholarship Fund, which aids students committed to completing their college degree on schedule.

Sporting specially designed commemorative jerseys, this year’s Road Scholars Team starts at College Avenue and Camino del Rio. After the race, Team riders will be feted at a celebration party. There’s also a Facebook group for Team members, where event updates are posted, training information can be shared, and training rides organized. Check it out at www.facebook.com/groups/FLCRoadScholars.

The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Scholarship Fund supports the Finish in Four! Program, an agreement first-time freshmen can make with the College that guarantees students access to the classes needed to graduate in four years in exchange for deadline commitments. Participating students work with advisors to develop academic plans that identify critical course sequencing to assure a timely graduation, saving students the time and costs of longer undergraduate careers.

Thanks to the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Scholarship Fund, students in the program are also eligible for a $500-per-semester scholarship, starting with the second semester, and worth $3,500 over their college careers.

There are two Road Scholars options this year:

>> McDonald’s Citizen Tour: 50 miles from Durango to Silverton.

>> Quarter Horse Tour: 25 miles from Durango to Durango Mountain Resort.

Learn more about the Road Scholars team or register to be a part of it.

Contribute to the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Scholarship fund.

Find out more about the Finish in Four! program.

Fort Lewis College Professor of History and Environmental Studies Wins Book Awards


Fort Lewis College Professor of History and Environmental Studies Wins Book Awards

Gulliford’s new Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology published this year by the University of Oklahoma Press won in two categories.

The edited anthology won in the Nature/Environment category for the 2014 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards, and was the winner for best book published on Arizona for the same competition.

Research was supported by the Fort Lewis College Foundation, the Ballantine Family Foundation, the Charles Redd Center at Brigham Young University and by a sabbatical courtesy of the Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees.

Gulliford’s book is used on campus in wilderness and English classes.

Gulliford’s Preserving Western History published by the University of New Mexico Press was named one of the best Southwest Books of the Year – 2005 by the Tucson-Pima County Library.

In 2004, Gulliford won the Colorado Book Award for Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale.

Fort Lewis College Dean for School of Business Administration Moving to Office of Advancement as Director of Corporate Relations


Dr. Doug Lyon will be leaving his position as dean of the Fort Lewis College School of Business Administration (SOBA) and moving to assist the College in corporate and community relations. The move will become official on January 1, 2015.


Dr. Lyon is a 1987 graduate of Fort Lewis College and became a professor in the FLC School of Business Administration in 2002. In 2011, he was appointed as dean for the school and guided his programs through the difficult aftermath of the 2010 state budget cuts to higher education.


His experience and connections within the community will be invaluable as Fort Lewis College works to strengthen its relationships with state and local organizations. Dr. Lyon is a former member of the Durango City Council and served as mayor in 2007 and 2012. He’s currently a member of the La Plata Economic Development Alliance, and he is chair of the Durango Area Tourism Office Board. He is also on the board of CollegeInvest, which manages billions in college savings plans.


“I’m very excited about this new position,” says Dr. Lyon. “The higher education landscape has never been more competitive. It is critical for both Fort Lewis College and the community that FLC emerges as a strong player in this industry. Corporate and community partnerships are a key mechanism by which that objective will be achieved.”

Soon-to-be constructed Geosciences, Physics, and Engineering Building will house high tech hardware on Fort Lewis College campus

Soon-to-be constructed Geosciences, Physics, and Engineering Building will house high tech hardware on Fort Lewis College campus

Earth from orbit (photo courtesy of NASA on The Commons)

DURANGO, CO – What sets the plot of the 2013 hit film “Gravity” in motion is space debris hurtling around in orbit, tearing apart a space shuttle and stranding George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. It’s a catastrophe that’s not as far fetched as one might think, at least the part about renegade space junk turning a shuttle or satellite into, well, more space junk.

To help prevent a disaster like the one in “Gravity,” the U.S. Air Force teamed up with Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and other institutions across the globe to survey and track space debris orbiting Earth. The project is called the Falcon Telescope Network, and with the area around our planet turning into something resembling a busy highway in the middle of a junkyard, it’s an initiative that’s becoming increasingly important.

The partnership was sealed a while back, but Dr. Ryan Haaland, chair of the FLC Department of Physics and Engineering, was holding off on fully implementing the program at Fort Lewis, delaying delivery of the state-of-the-art telescope and tracking equipment the Air Force offered.

“We’d love to put all that great, new high tech hardware on a brand new building,” he said. “It would be the perfect marriage of the project with a home.”

With the recent groundbreaking of the College’s new geosciences, physics and engineering building, Dr. Haaland is getting his wish. Once the $35 million facility is completed in fall 2016, the Falcon Telescope Network at Fort Lewis College will be headquartered in the observatory on the new building’s roof.

Once the Air Force equipment is installed in the new observatory, FLC students will be able to participate in real world science that has immense implications for them, as well as for the nation and the world. Imagine being a recent graduate in a job interview and explaining how you helped keep space stations, shuttles, as well as communication, GPS, and other satellites out of harm’s way.

The public, from school children to amateur astronomers, will also be able to take advantage of the partnership. Dr. Haaland hopes to make the observatory a showcase for the entire community.

“[The Falcon Telescope Network] always had as one of its major goals to excite and invite young students and locally interested people into the science world and see what kind of observations we can make.”
Learn more about Fort Lewis College’s new geosciences, physics and engineering building.


Meet Steve Parker, Fort Lewis College Foundation Board Member

steve parkerFort Lewis College’s Office of Advancement is proud to feature prominent members of the community on the FLC Alumni blog.

Today, we introduce you to Steve Parker.

“I am a retired community banker who moved to Durango in 1980.  While I was raised and mostly educated down south in Louisiana and Texas, my life here in Colorado has taken up over half my life.  I consider myself to be at least a semi-native of this great state.

My first contact with FLC occurred right after I arrived here to run the old Burns National Bank.  I was treated to lunch by Rexer Berndt and Don Whalen, who were eager to share the merits of Fort Lewis College with me.  They must have succeeded as I was elected to the Foundation Board during that first year here.

During the ups and downs of our micro economy, I have been impressed at the economic support our college gives to our entire region.  I can list so many other positive aspects and will do so over the following months.  To those of you who were fortunate enough to attend college here, I want to say thanks for being such a major part of the connection the college has forged with the town of Durango, as well as La Plata County.”

Steve is a very active friend of Fort Lewis College, and continues to serve on the Foundation Board of Directors.  He also helps out on the Foundation Investment Committee and has even taken full classes at the Fort.

How did alum Chris Parker ’11 secure a job at Rock and Ice Magazine? It all started with a Fort Lewis College class in English…

Alumnus climbs into a journalism career

Chris Parker is still climbing. The only difference is now he gets paid for it.

As a reporter, writer, columnist, and online editor at the venerable sport-climbing magazine Rock & Ice, Parker (English, ’11) is busy. “As editor, there are two sections of the magazine that I have to make happen every issue,” he says. “I conduct interviews with well-known climbers, and the other can be anything from a destination piece or a journal from a road trip-type piece. And online, that’s kind of my baby. I am in charge of much of the content on the site.”

Yet, busy as he his, Parker still gets out climbing. A lot. On trips ranging from quick hits to long jaunts, and both nearby and far away. He has to: It’s his job.

That’s a good kind of busy. But it took some climbing for Parker to get to where he is, where lifestyle and making a living have managed to merge. And Fort Lewis College played a central role in that journey.

“I didn’t know about FLC until I was 21,” Parker says. By that point, he had already spent some time at a large university in his home state of Mississippi, and had moved to Colorado. Parker landed in the historic mining town of Ouray, in the San Juan Mountains, where he first learned about climbing. Then, seeking a bigger town, he moved to Durango for its lively arts and music scene.

Once settled in downtown Durango, he found out about Fort Lewis College, situated on a mesa 600 feet above his neighborhood. “My roommates would walk up to campus for class. And I was kind of jealous that they were just walking up to class,” Parker laughs. “It seemed so cool. Eventually I went up there and talked to the admissions people.”

Soon, Parker himself started climbing the Nature Trail connecting town and campus every day. And he loved it. Because at FLC he kept climbing, both literally and figuratively. As a student, Parker was working at Outdoor Pursuits and using the Student Life Center‘s climbing wall most days between classes. Other times, he was hitting the many bouldering spots around town as often as he could.

And in class, as an English major focusing on communications, he found climbing to be the key to his post-college career.

“The communications courses were cool at FLC because you learned how to tell a story in a lot of different ways. I was a climber and was into shooting videos, so I was able to make a climbing documentary and tell that story in my way.”

It was a course in magazine writing, though, that showed Parker the route to a career after college. In this class, the instructor required students to go through all the steps of submitting one of their class assignments to a magazine.

“I took it really seriously,” Parker says. “And the end result was, I actually did end up getting a piece published with Rock & Ice. And that was the start to everything for my career.”

Actually, Parker’s story didn’t sell on his first try. But he worked on it with his professor until the magazine wanted it. And that spirit of craft led to his becoming an intern at Rock & Ice upon graduating, after which he was hired onto the staff — where he now makes a living by doing what he loves.

“I owe my professor everything for that. She was so helpful, believing in me and encouraging me,” Parker says. He adds, “I had some pretty cool professors there. I think that’s because they’re people who are very like-minded with their students. I had a connection with this place, and I think that the professors are there for the same reason.”

Fort Lewis College Skyhawks Upset #2 Colorado State-Pueblo, 23-22

Highlights from Fort Lewis College/Pueblo CSU game Oct 11, 2014

DURANGO, Colo. – October 11, 2014 – Quarterback Jordan Doyle tossed the ball back to wide receiver Jordan Gillen on a reverse play who found Juquelle Thompson in the endzone with 3:46 left in the fourth quarter to give the Skyahwks a 23-22 lead and the eventual win over No. 2 Colorado State University-Pueblo Saturday afternoon at Ray Dennison Memorial Field.

The Skyhawks win ended the Pack’s 42-game regular season winning streak.

Despite missing the two-point conversion that would have put the Skyhawks up by three points with 3:39 left in the game, FLC’s defense held the ThunderWolves on their own half of the field to close out the Pack’s second to final drive.  On first-and-10 from their own 34-yard line, the Pack’s Chris Bonner threw a pass to Cameron McDondle for a four yard loss, thanks to Ryan Ross‘ tackle.  A holding penalty by CSUP was tacked onto the play to push the Pack back to their 24-yard line.  On first-and-20, Bonner completed a pass to Jarred Radebaugh for an 11-yard gain, but an offensive pass interference penalty pushed the Pack to their own 12-yard line.  Bonner then completed an 18-yard pass to Daniel Wise to place the Pack on their 30-yard line.  After two incomplete passes and back-to-back timeouts by CSUP, the Pack threw another incomplete pass to turn the ball over on downs with 2:20 left in regulation.

Read the the rest of the story here http://www.goskyhawks.com/news/2014/10/11/FB_1011140726.aspx

Fort Lewis College Alumna, Alexandria Bombach ’08, turns her camera on Afghan photographers in upcoming film

bombach-header“Film is so powerful a tool,” says filmmaker and FLC graduate, Alexandria Bombach, “because storytelling is so human and can make a big difference in people’s lives.”

Bombach (Business Administration, ’08) has proven that theory herself. After her first film, a travelogue of her journey in an Airstream trailer to meet people living with few possessions, she was surprised to find she had touched viewers.

“After 23 Feetwas released, people would talk to me and email me, pouring their hearts out about their own experiences,” says Bombach. “It’s those kind of letters from people and those one-on-one conversations that I think about when I need inspiration.”

Inspiration is now leading Bombach to use that powerful tool of film to make a difference in other lives, this time photographers in Afghanistan experimenting with their new-found freedom of the press.

In her upcoming documentary Frame by Frame, Bombach explores the challenges and risks faced by Afghan photographers engaging in a practice that was outlawed under Taliban rule. Today these photographers worry about their futures as American forces pull out of the country.

“I was editing a short video for a non-profit, and they handed me a hard drive of footage with a bunch of reels from Afghanistan,” Bombach says, describing the moment of inspiration that led to Frame by Frame. “Getting to see unedited footage of people walking down the street really shook me and made me question my own perception of Afghanistan.”

Bombach visited Afghanistan shortly after that experience, where she met the photographers to be featured in the film. After returning home, a Kickstarter campaign secured the funds needed for her and a videographer partner to return to shoot the rest of the film. Frame by Frame will be released by Bombach’s own production company, Red Reel, in 2015.

While Bombach finds inspiration for her films in the world around her, she credits her FLC experience with inspiring her success at forging her own career her own way.

“I think Fort Lewis College and the professors that I had there had a big impact on my taking a chance with doing film at all,” she says. “I’d always loved filming as a little kid, but I didn’t think about that going into college. I thought that was something I’d never do, just a dream.”

Then, a hands-on and creative class assignment let her try her hand at applying her dream.

“One of my business professors [Chuck Yoos] challenged us to a project where we could explain something any way we wanted. Once I got into the editing room and starting putting it together, I was really, really proud of what I did. It truly felt like mine more than anything else I’d done, more than a paper or any other assignment,” she says.

“Everyone was just so supportive,” Bombach adds. “I made a video for the assignment, then the professor showed it to the Dean and other professors. After that, other professors started encouraging me to make films for their projects, and that really kind of started it for me. That was massive. It gave me the confidence I needed to give this career a chance.”

And it was a choice that has led Bombach to make a living while also making a meaningful life.

“I don’t know if I do this work to live this life, or if I live this life to do this work,” she laughs. “But I really love it, and it’s given me a great purpose in life. I am thankful for it everyday.”

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